Ericsson, Telstra and Intel Conduct End-to-End 5G Call Over Using the 3.5 GHz Spectrum

Ericsson, Telstra and Intel have successfully completed the first end-to-end 5G non-standalone (NSA) 3GPP data call on a commercial Australian mobile network. It was achieved at Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre in Australia, in a multivendor setup. With this achievement, the companies have taken 5G out of the lab and into a real-world mobile network environment.

The call was the first of its kind to use the 3.5 GHz spectrum, bringing together the core components from multiple companies required for a real commercial 5G network call. It included Telstra’s 5G NSA commercial network, licensed 3.5 GHz commercial spectrum, Ericsson’s commercial 5G NR radio 6488, baseband and packet core for 5G EPC, a personal Telstra SIM card and the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform for the 5G NR UE. This milestone quickly follows the July 6 lab-based data call by Ericsson and Intel, together with Telstra and other early-moving 5G service providers at the Ericsson Lab in Stockholm, accelerating efforts to deploy commercial 5G networks.

The commercial data call is the latest in a series of 5G milestones by Telstra to drive network leadership in Australia and provide customers with the next-generation mobile technologies. Previous 5G firsts include:

Ericsson, Telstra and Intel will continue to conduct 5G tests across multiple use cases ahead of the expected 5G commercial network launch by Telstra in early 2019.

Technology Background

The 5G data call was made over Telstra’s 5G NSA enabled commercial network using the following components:

  • Ericsson’s base station comprising Baseband 6630, AIR 6488 and 4G / 5G system software
  • Telstra’s licensed 5G Band 42 (3.5 GHz) and 4G Band 1 spectrum (2100 MHz)
  • A Telstra retail SIM
  • Network connection to an Ericsson virtualized 5G packet core (vMME and vEPG) running on Ericsson’s NFVi - the 5G slice was connected into the existing Telstra mobile network, which supports other functions such as backhaul, user authentication, billing and provisioning
  • Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform for the 5G NR UE, running an early 3GPP Rel15 Intel 4G module and a 5G NSA implementation